Some the literary elements that Poe uses in the bells are onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance, repetition, and rhythm. Onomatopoeia which is the formation of word by imitation of a sound made or associated with its referent, it is used in line 3 with the phrase tinkle tinkle, tinkle. Alliteration is the commencement of two or more stressed syllables of a word group either with the same consonant sound or sound group, used in verse 2 lines 10 and 12 “frantic fire” and “desperate desire. Assonance is a resemblance of sounds, also called vowel rhyme, used in line 1 “ sledges, bells. ” Repetition is the act of repeating something, used in line 3 “ tinkle, tinkle, tinkle. ” Rhythm is the movement or procedure with uniform or patterned recurrence of a beat or accent, the rhythm of the bells is what makes it lyrical The Bells represents life and how it happens. In the first stanza silver bells are introduced. The silver bells make a tinkle sound which is the sound of a small bell.
Therefore the silver bells represent youth and excitement. In the second stanza the golden bells represent wedding bells. These bells symbolize maturity and growing up but also represent one of the happiest times of someone’s life as they are getting married which is a joyful time and at this point of the poem the bells are no longer tinkling as they now are chiming. In Stanza 3 brazen bells are played, these bells are terrifying as they shriek and go higher, and higher. The bells represent what is coming forth as they clang clash and roar.
The Brazen bells are not chiming they are loud and obnoxious. Stanza 4 has iron bells playing that make people shiver with affright. The iron bells symbolize death. They are played in the silence of the night and it is silent at funerals because people are mourning and hear the moaning and groaning of the bells. This is how the 4 stanzas symbolize a person’s life. They are young and excited then as they get older and get married they are happy then loud bells tell that tragedy is near and finally death overtakes all people.